Since 2012, general manager Howie Roseman has professed the importance of sticking to the team's draft board and selecting the "best player available." Beyond first-round picks, that process has netted the Eagles mid-round picks like Nick Foles, Brandon Boykin and Bennie Logan. But Roseman has also said there's more nuance to draft day than just grabbing the top player on the team's draft board.
So after Foles' standout 2013 season, what would happen if the highest-rated player on the Eagles' board at No. 22 is a quarterback?
"Teddy Bridgewater is a name that immediately comes to mind when people talk about players falling, and I think the sense is … he has a chance of being there at 22," said NFL Network analyst Charles Davis on a conference call Thursday.
"We were all hung up on a certain style of quarterback for Chip Kelly. It just kept going and going and going. I kept begging people, go back to his roots at the University of New Hampshire and find the tape of him coordinating that offense. Their receiver (Dave Ball) broke all the records, caught 9,000 passes. And Ricky Santos as the quarterback, how many read options did we see then? How much running around did Ricky Santos do? Chip Kelly is going to adapt to what he has and make this thing work. I think we underestimate his offensive and his coaching acumen when we say, well, saw this at Oregon, this is what they're going to do. Chip is a lot smarter than that."
But could Bridgewater intrigue the Eagles?
"We learned last year, everybody thought it had to be this athletic quarterback to run all over the place, and Foles played out of his mind as not the most mobile player," said NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah. "Chip values decision-making and accuracy. Those are two strengths of Teddy Bridgewater, decision making and accuracy. But coming off the year (Foles) had last year, 27 touchdowns, two picks, I would be stunned if they took Bridgewater."
So if it's not Bridgewater, or any other quarterback, who else might fall to the Eagles at No. 22? Davis and Jeremiah both offered some guesses.
"(Tight end Eric) Ebron, I'm a little bit skeptical about his getting all the way down to 22. I think as a tight end someone is going to want to jump on that and get him long before 22," said Davis. "(Alabama linebacker C.J.) Mosley, we've had different mock drafts and had him going down that far. But I think the momentum is building much more towards him moving towards the top of the draft. I think Buffalo is a place he could easily go in the top 10 and be that guy.
"(UCLA linebacker) Anthony Barr, that's the interesting one, isn't it, because as this process started as I remember it, Anthony Barr was almost a lock top-10 guy, and now we're talking about is he an outside linebacker, is he a defensive end? You're hearing reports about the Jets, I believe, at 17, 18, whatever number they are, to really start at 17 really liking him. What about the Cowboys, where he came down and said the Cowboys said I can play defensive end at 15. It's going to be interesting draft. I think a good number almost have the Eagles looking at maybe a safety possibly being there, whether there's a (Calvin) Pryor or a (Ha Ha) Clinton-Dix, whichever one of the two is still available."
" I'm anxious just to see on the Eagles if they do go on the offensive side of the ball, which everything is kind of focused on the defensive side, but they don't have a player ranked up that high and they want to go on the offensive side of the ball and they do go for a receiver," said Jeremiah. "I think a lot of people have been kind of hung up on the speed receivers saying they're going to find somebody to replace DeSean Jackson and so you talk about Brandin Cooks and maybe Odell Beckham. I don't think Odell Beckham is going to be there, I think he's going to be gone.
"I look at the decision there, I think Kelvin Benjamin, who's a little bit of a polarizing player out of Florida State, that to me would be a name I would keep an eye on because Chip Kelly at Oregon, everybody focuses on the pace and the tempo, and they kind of assume that he likes little, small, fast players, but on the outside they always have some big, physical receivers. I would think adding more size, if you add Kelvin Benjamin, now you've got Riley Cooper and then you throw Jeremy Maclin in the mix, now they're going to be able to move the ball in between the 20s, but you get down in the red zone you've got two guys you can throw the ball up to. That Kelvin Benjamin to the Eagles to me is one I keep an eye on."
The other major factor in play when it comes to the Eagles' draft board is Chip Kelly's size-specifications for different positions. Jeremiah, a former Eagles scout, explained that the Eagles won't have every player in the draft listed on their draft board. Instead, there are likely a much smaller number of player deemed to be fits for the team.
"I think that kind of mirrors what the Patriots do under Bill Belichick," Jeremiah said. "Most draft boards when you talk to guys around the league and the teams I worked for, you have about 150 players on your board, and New England, they're kind of famous for being much less than that, well below 100. There's only a certain amount of guys they feel like fits what they to do, and I think that's kind of what Philadelphia is going to with Chip Kelly when he's around. But the personnel department there, they have a lot of veteran guys that have been doing this a while with really good guys as scouts, so it seems so far if you just go off last year the way they've worked together and finding good players has worked out. This is going to be a big challenge for them coming up in this next draft, taking that next step from going from being a division winner to being a team that can compete with those teams in the NFC West. This is going to be a big draft."